Should lifeguards be on duty after 6pm?

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LB HERALD: Long Beach must rethink sending lifeguards home at 6 p.m.

What do you folks think? We see droves of people going to the beach after 6pm when the lifeguards are off duty and the beach is free. The LBPD does a wonder job patrolling and clearing the ocean, but these freebees go right back in as soon the the patrol leaves.

I know we discussed this topic years ago when there was a rip current incident, but here we are again. Should lifeguards be on duty after 6pm?


40 Replies to “Should lifeguards be on duty after 6pm?”

  1. No lifeguards after 6. What ever time you cut off swimming, there will always be people going in after closing time. These freeloaders don’t contribute to the revenue so why should we contribute to the expense?
    And if your worried about their safety, well if they are stupid enough to go in to the unprotected water, then they are stupid enough to drown anyway. Let em.

  2. If the beach did stay open to at least 7, do you think there would be a significant amount of revenue that the city can collect that would justify an extra hour? I am thinking weekends only.

    I definitely believe in personal responsibility and you need to know your own limits, but yes there are too many dumb people in this world.

  3. Getting a little off the subject, I think it is a crime that we as residents have to pay for the use of the beach. We have taxes that are much too high, and many expenses that should be avoided, like the city council thoughts about moving and building a new city hall where Wlaldbams is presently and soon to close. Even though I do not shop at Waldbaus it is important that Stop and Shop come in with out closing the food store. There are only 2 other supermarkets, one in the wast end and one in the west end.

  4. I don’t want lifeguards period, but that’s never going to happen unfortunately. We should adopt NJ’s shortened guarded beach times of 10-5.

    The day after labor day is by far the best day to live in LB, local summer begins and we don’t have to deal with people telling us when, how and where we access the ocean.

  5. I don’t care what they do. But I am surprised that they’re haven’t been more incidents. It stays light out way past 8 for most of the summer. It’s not just non-paying beach folk in the water after 6.

  6. While I disagree with BLT that there should never be lifeguards I do think that 6 is plenty of time to be on duty. You want to risk your life when there are none do so, but maybe if they were to start ticketing adults with underage kids allowing them in unprotected…….

    Another person off topic. If you want your own forum, Gerri D Klein. either start one yourself or email Anthony to start a topic. Chhhhhrrriiist!~

  7. Everyone who is saying “swim at your own risk,” “you want to risk your life, go for it.”

    Really? You don’t think a kid could just run into the water?

    Long Beach’ians say the darndest things. They act like residents of LB are born with gills or something.

    Not in these comments (yet) – but the ones on Project 11561’s comment section.

  8. If people are stupid enough to swim with no lifeguards let them drown. Stupid people should not be allowed to contribute to the Gene pool;

  9. No Lifeguards after 6PM.If they cannot read and/or swim… on duty will not prevent these idiots from getting themselves into trouble in the water.In addition they take up available parking on the street..for those of us expecting guests or coming home from work.Those of us who reside on the beachfront deserve a break.Surfers and those that visit make parking for residents a nightmare.Visitors should have to pay a fee to park here.Use the superblock for parking.When I relocated here from upstate NY. in 1968.There was parking for residents only. It required a sticker with no fee, and was issued by the City of LB.Additionally, there were posted signs on poles for every spot on the parking islands.The police issued a summons to those ignored them.It worked.I always found an available spot…in front of my residence.Those were the days when our politicians cared about those of us who live here.

  10. “If people are stupid enough to swim with no lifeguards let them drown. Stupid people should not be allowed to contribute to the Gene pool”

    What if that read…”If children are stupid enough…”

    The point about crowds staying later makes no sense. The beach isn’t that crowded as it gets closer to 5, and it’s not because of the hours.

    But I don’t know how they could keep collecting beach fees with the volleyball leagues going on. You can’t expect every non-resident that is playing to pay $12 every time they go to play.

  11. Let the lifeguards go home at 6, make the people who come after 6 pay to go I the beach…maybe at a discounted rate…and have the beach pass people tell them that no swimming g is allowed past 6pm and if the police see them in the water they will be ticketed. People who play volleyball can be given some kind of ID that shows they paid to play volleyball. Volleyball players are not the one’s typically swimming after hours anyway. These people who come after hours tend to leave a lot of garbage on the beach when they leave to and our taxes are paying to clean the beach…they should contribute to these costs.

  12. A tough question that has milled around City Hall for decades.

    Hundreds of families, mostly foreigners, await 6 PM to enter the beach free. Some urinate on lawns while they wait. Some know hot to swim, some don’t. Most go bathing.

    If there was a entry charge after 6PM, most of these people would either stay home, go to Jones Beach or wait until the admission was free. So there’s not much money left on the table after 6 PM.

    Personal responsibility is a thing of the past. Drown when no lifeguard is on duty and it it the fault and responsibility of the City and its taxpayers. Post a reduced crew of lifeguards after six and the City is negligent.

    As beach goers seem to be arriving much later than in decades past, maybe it’s time to consider a change of beach hours to 10 to 7 or 11 to 8?

  13. WET, if a kid starts to “just run into the water”, where is their parent/family member/supervisor watching them? Just as parents teach you to look both ways before crossing the street, they should teach you basic water safety.

    Why are we even talking about kids? The people who continue to drown are young adult males, not 7 year old kids who were running amok unsupervised.

  14. lol ok BLT – were you under your parents supervision at all times at age 10 through 12? And I didn’t realize being a swimmer was a pre-requisite for being a parent these days. Not to mention, these were riptides – something even people and children with knowledge of basic water safety would have a tough time with.

    LB residents oppose any change to anything so you’re just doing your part. Whatever. I won’t take a hard-stance on this one.

  15. Either you have ” eyes on the water”, or you don’t . The “eyes on the water” should be from May 31 to September 30TH. From 8am to 8pm. This could be done simply with a volunteer Lifeguard force during the hours the Long Beach Lifeguard Patrol, is off duty. The Volunteer Life Guard Patrol could be made up volunteers who are ” experienced water people”, who would be willing to watch the water during off hours. All you need is a cell phone to call in the rescue. Lifeguards can make rescues in Hurricane Surf if they SEE the victim, once the victim submerges under the water, rescues are rare. Our community is full of lifeguards , police , firefighters , surfers, ocean water people , who don’t accept the concept that its OK for non residents to drown. In addition, it should be lifeguards on the four wheel quads after hour patrolling the shore line, not specials under police supervision, with no Ocean rescue experience.

  16. I moved to LB as an adult, so unfortunately for you I don’t fit into the picture you’re trying to paint. That said, I have been in and around the ocean/water my entire life and yes, an adult was always around when I was in the water up until about 12.

    Being able to swim is not a prerequisite for being a parent, but being responsible should be.

  17. “Hundreds of families, mostly foreigners, await 6 PM to enter the beach free. Some urinate on lawns while they wait. Some know hot to swim, some don’t. Most go bathing.”

    Love it! Long Beach hyperbole at it’s best.

  18. When does its stop? People swim before work in the early morning
    hours, people swim after work in the evening and you will even see people swimming late at night well after dark. (Hell I have done that myself in my earlier days). Some people swim all year round practically and yes some people are even dumb enough to swim in hurricane surf.

    The city does the best it can covering the majority of the time when the majority of people are in the water. They could not cover the entire beach 24/7. Even if you have guards patrolling the beach, how many would you have on? How long would the loop take for a crew to patrol from say Maple at the East end to Nevada in the West? That is plenty of time for someone to get into trouble.

    People take their lives or the lives of their children in their hands when they swim or let the kids swim without lifeguards. There are numerous signs telling people no swimming w/o lifeguards at each entrance to the beach and on the back of the empty lifeguard chairs as well as police chasing them out of the water but they go in anyway.

    At that point they are responsible for their own actions. Yes it is tragic when someone is injured or killed in the water and whether or not they paid for the beach, came form a foreign country or pissed on your lawn before heading to the beach doesn’t make it any less tragic or them any less dead. People need to be responsible for their actions, they choose to ignore the warnings so the consequences for their decisions rest solely on them. In my humble opinion.

    On a side note and as part of what should be included in this debate is the question; Has the city been sued by the estate of anyone who drowned on our beach? Were they successful? If anyone succeeded or city decided to settle in lieu of going to trial how much has been paid out?

  19. I have only seen one Actual LB resident drown in LB in over 30 years of looking. He was a cop, a very nice guy that went body surfing during a hurricane.

    All of the rest were from out of town and nearly all of them were adolescent males, showing off.

    Long Beachers don’t drown because all are taught to swim in the LB Schools and at the rec. In both those places water safety is drummed into their heads and a lot of it sticks. They also swim in the ocean a lot.

    Out of towners typically never swam in the ocean, only pools that were 3-4 feet deep. They never have experienced strong currents, big waves or not being able to stand up. They also don’t know how to really swim. They consider diving into 3 foot deep water and standing on the concrete bottom to be “swimming” which it ain’t by a long shot. I never saw any stats but from what I have seen almost all (if not all) drownees are black or hispanic.

    I don’t think closing the beach to all, after hours would ever work. Lots of LB Residents come home from work in the city, put on a bathing suit and go for a swim–it’s a big part of living at a beach and they aren’t the ones that are drowning.

    I don’t know what the answer is.

  20. Since the influx of foreigners and the mass drownings a few years ago, the City has implemented the removal of swimmers after 6 PM. It a fruitless endeavor; the offenders return to the surf after the cop rides down the beach, only to be ejected again ten minutes later.

    Surfers, however, are permitted in the water at any time and aren’t disturbed.

    Other details notwithstanding, surfers are virtually all White males. Swimmers after 6 PM are virtually all Hispanic and black. The June Supreme Court ruling “Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project” clearly prohibits this selective enforcement, branding it racist and imposing penalties.

    How long before the City awakens to this hornets’ nest?

  21. They barely check tickets at 5. Plus that would mean more OT for the Head of the Beach Park (or whatever title).

    On a related note, I will be raising my house soon so as to avoid getting drenched by the urine of hundreds of illegal immigrant families that are placing Long Beach under siege.

  22. Can we please stop taking such reaactionary stances every time something unfortunate occurs somewhere. I agree with the person above who proposed shorter lifeguard hours. The lifeguards and police are destroying the experience of going to the beach. Police routinely drive all over the beach for no reason other than to harass people from the comfort of their vehicle. I’ve watched them naavigate well outside of the emergency lane, weaving through groups of people, pulling up next to the lifeguard stand to chit chat. It is absurd, and we’re paying for these leisure rides along the beach.

    And the lifeguards, I understand they are doing what they are told, but they are making bathing in the ocean a joyless task. The green flags are about 25 feet apart, and they often tell people they cannot go in deeper than waist-deep. The result is hundreds of people packed into a tiny area of water that quickly becomes saturated with urine and sunscreen.

    If the city wants to do something, they should let the lifeguards go home, but let the kids at the booths stay and control access to the beach until the sun goes down. At least they only cost the city a few more hours of near minimum wage. A seasonal pass costs $30. If you can’t spring for that, maybe don’t go to the beach. The beach is a public good, but when too many people utilize a resource, the result is that nobody is able to benfit from it.

    Anyone who has observed the beach transformation that occurs at 6:00 should agree unless they are blinded by an allegiance to remaining politically correct. There is a demographic shift that happens at 6:00. It’s not rocket science, low-income families wait until the beach is free to access it. They often stay until dark, and leave their trash in the sand. These are the people that are drowning. If the city wants to do something, let them require beach passes until the beach closes at 11:00. The solution is not more lifeguards to babysit us, and it certainly is not more police. Don’t we still have shootings in LB? Get the cops off the beach. (end of rant)

  23. Pat, you are criticizing the backbone of liberalism and of the City’s ruling party.

    Whenever something bad happens, liberals look to “the government” to step in and protect the misguided, ignorant and helpless. Cost is no concern. The out-of-line must be corrected — by force, by substantial fines, or by jail if need be.

    Be it driver texting, untrained swimmers, or SUV drivers. They must be brought in line. We need more police. Now!

  24. They don’t even pay the kids minimum wage. They pay them as seasonal workers only $6 an hour. Before taxes. Sure they don’t collect fed and ny state but they still pay SSA and FICA.

  25. Sandra: I am no friend of surfers and have criticized them on this blog.

    You must realize that surfers regardless of race are not the people drowning. They are all in good physical condition and have a good floatation device tethered to their foot and are all expert swimmers. The few times they get in trouble they are aided by fellow surfers not lifeguards. They are in no way any part of the after hours drowning problem.

    From my beachfront Lazy Boy recliner about 10 years ago I witnessed the following: On Lincoln Beach just after the booth attendants departed three people arrived. One black male adult, and two black male teenagers. All were flabby/obese and clearly out of shape. Adult stayed 100 or so feet from the water; two teens ran like hell into the water close to the east side of the Lincoln jetty. In seconds, the two were being swept out by the rip currents alongside the jetty.

    I got on the phone to LBPB and the desk officer dispatched the after hours lifeguards in their pickup truck. The two went under twice when a surfer arrived by surfboard from the beach on Monroe and saved them both. The lifeguards arrived minutes later and would have been recovering bodies not rescuing anyone if not for the surfer.

    Please explain how this is racist and in need of intervention by the the DJUS and Federal Courts.

  26. Kayo, I hope you didn’t think I was serious. Unfortunately, the City’s selective enforcement under that decision, would be improper.

    Hey, I don’t make the rules.

  27. I think that it makes sense for life guards to be on duty later on evenings that there are known dangerous conditions & when it’s very hot. They could be paid overtime in these instances. Some of the money could come from canceling lifeguards at surfing only beachs. Why do we have lifeguards at surfing only beaches?
    And off topic but responsive: I want as much swift & serious action taken against driver texting as possible.

  28. I am definitely not for more lifeguards. The beach situation in the ny/nj is already rife with rules and regulations. Anytime humans place themselves in a dangerous situation, whether it be swimming in a pool, driving a car, or swimming in the ocean, people will die. The sad fact is people will not believe it is actually dangerous unless people are dying.

    Instead of more lifeguard time, how bout we spend some of that money on beach goer education? We should also move to a flag system (much like Hawaii, where most beaches are not life guarded) so people are warned when dangerous conditions exist. If there are red flags out it means expert swimmers only! Lots of people don’t know what a rip current is, when it exists at the beach, or how to avoid it. If the beaches are policed every day like hazardous conditions are present (sometimes the beach is fairly safe) people start to think the lifeguards/police are crying wolf. When it is hazardous everyone on the beach should know and be aware that if they enter the ocean there is a much greater chance of injury or death.

    Condition flags which actually show what conditions exist currently would be even better, strong currents, dangerous shore break, jellyfish etc. Inform and let people make their own decisions.

  29. Ordinarily I would agree with you, but when you take 100 surfers (or learning to-surfers) and tell them all they have to share 200 feet of ocean, surfing suddenly becomes very dangerous, even with small waves. People are gonna get knocked out, injured, sliced and diced. Someone needs to be there to call the ambulance at least.

  30. Definitely a thorny issue. I see the squadrons of people heading onto the beaches in the center of town particularly after 6pm, but 6pm (an even 5pm some places) is the norm for lifeguard hours at beaches. I see no reason for LB to depart from the norm, particularly when going to 7 would not solve the problem, nor would 8. If you were to extend the hours, I think you would need to have them go until dark, which would be near 9 for a few weeks at least. However, I do not see that the purpose of the lifeguards is to protect the public from the risks of the ocean, period. I see the existence of the lifeguards as providing supervision during a specified period for people to take advantage of if they want that security. And, the beach already operates at a loss and paying for more lifeguard hours will merely deepen that hole. Having ticket takers stay on guard might defray the extra cost, but that itself costs and as it is, there is a good amount of nonpayment by beachgoers, so I’m dubious of it.

  31. Years ago the ticket takers went off at 4pm , and you had the crowds come on the beach, at 4pm., who could not” afford”, the price of admission. In recent years, the ticket takers leave at 6pm , so you have the 6pm crowd , who cannot, ” afford”, the price of admission. There are a lot of, ” children” , with the after- hours crowd. On nights, with strong Rip Currents the children and young adults are at risk. I do believe that if we made the Beach Free for people Under age 18, at least a major step would be taken, to protect the children. I also believe some form of Volunteer Lifeguard force from May 31st to September 30, could work , in Long Beach, for the days and hours the Long Beach Lifeguard Patrol, is not on duty. You must SEE the victim to rescue the victim, seconds count.

  32. The 2 Key Foods in the West and East Ends are far too expensive even more expensive than Waldbaums. We need Stop and Shop to take over asap. Think about the low income and elderly that rely on Waldbaums.

  33. Well TJ’s is already on the south shore. It’s fashionable to put down Whole Foods these days. Not for me. I taste the difference. If people think I’m a fool for paying more money at Whole Foods, fine. Just please give me that choice.

  34. havnt read the 39 comments, im sure there are some ignorant ones, but i’d just like to say regardless of what people think about “people should stay out of the ocean if they dont know how to swim” i agree, and i agree freeloaders come after 6, but some people are just in a different economic class, and some people just make poor decisions as most of us did as kids. we shouldnt chastise someone for this. we should help our fellow human race. i vote for guards after 6pm ON SATURDAY ONLY as that is the highest risk time and most frequent accidents are on that day. its only like 10 saturdays so the city can do it. even if its a skeleton staff. dont need ticket takers, just guards for another hour or so. anyone who sees their family member crying at the beach as the sun sets and they realize they have lost their son or daughter would agree we can surely do a little more to try and help such a tragedy.

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